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Groupon Sales Chief Steps Down

The former Citydeal co-founder is leaving for entrepreneurial pursuits.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Rajen Ruparell, an entrepreneur who joined Groupon in an acquisition and went on to hold several prominent roles at the deals company including running national sales, has stepped down from his day-to-day role at the company, according to a source familiar with the matter. He is said to be pursuing an entrepreneurial venture, this person said.

Ruparell was most recently the company’s senior vice president of global partnerships, with a focus on running the national sales team, where he reported to Rich Williams, the company’s president of North America. The national sales team, which secures deals with big-name brands such as Target, will now report to Simon Goodall, who was previously the VP of travel, a spokesman said. Ruparell will remain an adviser to the company.

The departure comes as Groupon looks to reclaim a bit of the magic — and revenue growth — it enjoyed in its early days. CEO Eric Lefkofsky has been trying to transform the company from one that depends on customers opening an email every day to a giant marketplace of goods and deals that customers will want to visit without being prompted. The company’s stock spiked 33 percent to $8 a share since the end of October when it announced better-than-expected third-quarter results.

Ruparell previously launched and ran the company’s Goods business, which sells physical products at discount prices. He joined the company in 2010 when the Groupon clone he co-founded in Europe, Citydeal, was acquired during a period when Groupon was in land-grab mode.

Separately, Groupon communications boss Paul Taaffe will be leaving the company in the first half of the year to become CEO of London-based PR firm Huntsworth, which announced his appointment last month. Taaffe joined Groupon shortly after its IPO and in the wake of several big public gaffes. He didn’t have an easy job, but I always liked working with him.

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